What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Posts Tagged ‘Pelikan P1’

Take a Break, Lads.

Posted by Dirck on 8 May, 2020

It’s V-E Day, gang, and I have made no secret about how the conflict that was brought to an end seventy-five years ago today weighs upon my imagination (for recent readers: my father grew up in occupation).

But, since we’re all after entertainment in the grim current setting, let’s join The Tank Museum as they brew up some perfectly good  abominable damp cups of tea.

There. A comforting cuppa. What could be better (other than not having to be in a tank to drink it)?

Today’s post-war pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s really unappealing drink, hot, cold or anywhere between: Diamine Midnight

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Where DID the Time Go?

Posted by Dirck on 1 May, 2020

Oh… look… it’s Friday. Well, let’s pop out the thing that SHOULD have happened yesterday, for a start.

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 27 April
  • 28 April
  • 29 April
  • 30 April
  • Third draft of “In Loco Parentis”
  • First draft of “Ancestral Curse” (working title).
  • “Self-Policing”
  • A couple of typos and the tactical redeployment of a clause.
  • 2 manuscript pages (and napping).
  • 1031 words, all in a tumble, and up on the other site.

As the pace of work on “Ancestral Curse” suggests, I’m still having snoozy issues which may be related to the stresses of the current plague. I know that failing entirely to post the preceding is down to that stress, atop extra month-end stress brought on by the departed co-worker, about which I have previously whined.

Also, I got into a small creative froth, which I explain the genesis of in a post on my writing site, and so my whole attention yesterday was given over to frothing.

Um.

No, actually I’ll leave it. Anyway, it didn’t really strike me until I was lowering head to pillow that yesterday was Thursday. I can’t really blame that on COVID, since the ticking of my weekly clock goes on as ever it has.

Let me not break with Friday tradition, however, now that I’m aware it is Friday. I know a lot of the home-stuck are looking for projects to divert themselves, so here’s one.

Back in the late 1980s, when the interwebz was hardly even present in the fiction of William Gibson, I tried to do this following instructions in books. Now that I see, in motion, how it’s done, I realize how close I was to accomplishing the goal. I was, alas, even closer to losing an eye through the failure of the not-quite-really-a-bow.

Today’s Pen: Sheaffer Balance Statesman
Today’s ink: Skrip Black (which, by pure coincidence, is what I loaded it with when I last used it, somewhat more than a year ago).

Posted in General Blather, Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 23 April, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 20 April
  • 21 April
  • 22 April
  • 23 April
  • First draft of “Ancestral Curse” (working title).
  • 9 manuscript pages

I can only imagine how much COVID is affecting others, when I, whose life has barely changed as a result of it (still at work, no fear of money running out, family waiting at home at day’s end), am having trouble stringing my entertaining lies onto a thread. I wish you all good health and mental fortitude.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Flat Isn’t Finished

Posted by Dirck on 17 April, 2020

I the part of Canada in which I live, we’re doing pretty well in the COVID department. We started closing stuff up early, we’ve got a ridiculously low population density, and it’s not a popular destination for world travellers. We have flattened the hell out of that menacing curve.

So, of course, there are some painfully silly people who think we can just press the big red STATUS QUO ANTE button and return to the way things were previously, with buffet restaurants and stadium crowds cheering on their sportings teams (the basketcurling scene has really suffered this last month). Not how it works, of course, although it’s a tempting folly.

Then, of course, there’s the pointedly silly people, who we can use as object lessons and a source of amusement.

Oddly, while I watch people like this who spent most of their time tying together the rhetorical shoe laces of flat Earth fanciers, YouTube never suggests I might like to see the flatlings themselves. I am strangely blessed.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Diamine Midnight

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 9 April, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 6 April
  • 7 April
  • 8 April
  • 9 April
  • Not much.†
  • A whole bunch of it.

† It’s definitely the work-exhaustion that’s doing in my writing; I find I’m having to do things that I normally can see to between the regular duties of The Regular Job. Now, since I’m not shoved out of work like so many millions, I don’t want this construed as a complaint… although I am mightly happy that we are facing a long weekend. The prospects for a return to something more like my preferred level of work-effort are not certain, but there may be some relief next week. Mid-month is, generally speaking, slack time. All the same, I don’t feel wrong re-using this:

‡ I got a bottle of this as part of the social contract I perceive to be in place, which suggests that we who still have an income try to support local businesses. My favourite local place for pen and pen-proximate things, Paper Umbrella, has responded to the current plague by setting up a web-store. Locals like me can, on the way to collect vital groceries, pause to have stuff thrust out the door at us. So I did.

Sadly, you won’t see anything about the new ink on my own site, because my computer has finally noticed that it’s very very old and can no longer support running anything except its OS. I’d probable have started a Gofundme to seek the help of well-heeled but charitable folks, if not for the sudden explosion of people who are seeking the same money for more dire purposes– being able to maintain a site like mine is definitely not of the same importance as food and shelter.

I can, I think, manage my tax return without the computer, and because our household income is low, there’s a plague on, and we can expect a big fat rebate of the federal carbon tax, there’s some hope that tax refund can be turned into a new computer. Just like happened eleven years ago. Of course, I wouldn’t say no to a well-heeled passer-by throwing some money at me…

I should mention that I quite like the TWSBI blue-black. It’s only a little darker than Herbin Bleu Nuit, but it plays well on non-great paper, it’s reasonably water resistant, and it has a very inky scent. I’m sure there are some who would call that ink-stink, but I like it. It also comes in a whopping great 70ml bottle which has a plastic inner vessel to allow for low-ink filling, so the bottle will be a keeper even when it’s empty.

Long weekend, so no film tomorrow. I’m going to TRY to get some fiction out of me.

Posted in General Blather, Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Try This At Home

Posted by Dirck on 3 April, 2020

It’s an injunction we hear all too often. And yet, people are trapped at home, somehow without sufficient entertainment when movies and books can be teleported into your very lap, and trying odd new hobbies. I saw a one-cat fashion show this morning. Today’s film will allow you to see a thing being done so you won’t have to try it.

I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t know that radon could be that dangerous.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Diamine Midnight

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 26 March, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 23 March
  • 24 March
  • 25 March
  • 26 March
  • First draft of “In Loco Parentis”.
  • Adventures in shopping for necessities during a lockdown.
  • A letter I’ve been shamefully neglecting.†
  • 2 manuscript pages
  • No spare probe covers for our Braun aural thermometer, alas.
  • Ready to mail.

 

† The letter to which I respond arrived just before Christmas. I plead “really a lot of powerful distractions”.

‡ The last time I used this pen (not quite two years ago, I discover with alarm), I also used brown ink. The only rationale for this association I can think of is that brown was big in the ’70s.

I am, by the way, still at work. The Regular Job turns out to count as “essential services”, and I’m apparently essential to it, so I’ll be the last one out before management is made to lock the doors. Let’s all hope it doesn’t come to that.

 

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 19 March, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 16 March
  • 17 March
  • 18 March
  • 19 March
  • First draft of “Morgue Attendance”.
  • Fidgeting about coronavirus, and an attempt to find some yogurt in the picked-over grocery store.
  • First draft of “THINGY”
  • 1 manuscript page, and then some doubts about direction creep in…
  • A stunning success on both fronts; thanks to St. Patrick for the latter!
  • 8 manuscript pages

 

 

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 12 March, 2020

Before the status report, a status report, because one of the regular readers here expressed appreciation at my tiny contribution to the effort to de-stigmatize mental illness. There is a substantial amount of stress at The Regular Job right now. There was not quite so much about a month ago, but apparently it was enough to move one of my colleagues to reach over her head, grab the yellow and black striped handles, and launch herself into early retirement.

This is what everyone’s desk chair looks like, right?

She had been here quite a while, and thus had accreted a lot of small duties with obscure processes, known to her more as muscle-memory rituals than as steps in a logical sequence. It’s fallen to me and one other co-worker to take over doing what she did, which involves a certain amount of archaeology, paleography, and cautiously touching a quivering fingertip to the huge black monolith in the break room.

Stressful.

And yesterday, as I was finally finished the work of the previous day, it struck me that six months ago, this turn of events would have destroyed me. Every bit of the shattering sensibility in the concept nervous breakdown would have come to me. Absolutely no doubt. But as it stands… well, no one likes extra work, but there’s no attendant dread to the current load.

I can’t say whether this is down to coping strategies from counselling, Magic Brain Pills, or whatever went wrong in my head last year correcting itself as mysteriously as it blew its breakers. It’s probably a combination of the first two, with a possibility of the third providing extra flotation. I’m strangely unwilling to experiment by discontinuing use of either cognitive tools or modern chemistry. I’d rather live with this small uncertainty than try to live with a return of the full-size Black Dog.

I occasionally hear it sniffing around, just the other side of the metaphorical tree line.

But enough introspection. Let’s have a look at what the week’s self-imposed labours produced:

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 9 March
  • 10 March
  • 11 March
  • 12 March
  • Third (but really second, sort of) draft of “Filter Feeder”.
  • Revision of “The Mermaid’s Husband”.
  • First draft of “Morgue Attendance”.
  • Rubbed with a towel, weighted at 2402 words, and sent to the publication it was meant for.
  • Dropped about a page of unwanted weight, and also sent to that same anthology.†
  • 5 manuscript pages

 

†At the risk of uttering a spoiler against my own work, “The Mermaid’s Husband” contains more direct Lovecraft reference than “Filter Feeder”, since it’s crammed with his blasphemous fish-frogs. Seeing that the Lovecraftian anthology smiled upon multiple submissions, why wouldn’t I try to find a home for one of my slime-dripping darlings?

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 5 March, 2020

 

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 March
  • 3 March
  • 4 March
  • 5 March
  • Third draft of “Second Impression”.
  • Fourth draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men”.
  • Ground to an unlikely 3456 words, and sent to the publication that inspired its creation.
  • Reshaping based on comments from editors who declined it.†

†The lesser reason for doing this a rather long time after getting the third draft into what I thought was final shape is pangs of artistic pride. The greater is that I was in a fever to get MOAR STOREES!!1! written, and since in my head this one had a COMPLETED sign hung over its pigeon-hole, the notion of returning to it usually didn’t strike me at any useful time (he pauses, shirtless, toothbrush in frothy maw, and thinks, “Oh, damn. That. Maybe tomorrow…”). I managed to convince myself that the re-edit was actually the thing that was going to follow getting that Lovecraftish thing (“Filter Feeder” currently, but it may change again).

Yes, I do picture my mind as a vast array of pigeon-holes. All oak and brass, well-loved by its owner, but rather dusty and far from state of the art.

 

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »